If you’re here, you must be interested in buying a home or maybe, even your first home. There are many reasons to buy a home, tax benefits, investing in your future, or the simply desire to enhance your lifestyle by having a pet, a yard enjoy, rooms to decorate or renovate at your leisure.
And as you begin your search it would be my pleasure to be your guide, your assistant and confidant in this transaction. Whether you are first time home buyer or an experienced homeowner, having the right person in your corner is important. Please read the following paragraphs to understand some of the steps needed to begin your home search (please consult your tax adviser or lawyer for financial advice).
If you haven’t inspected your credit information recently, you may want to request your free Credit Report as offered once a year from all of the three major credit reporting agencies Transunion, Experian & Equifax.
Now that you've made the decision to buy a home, you need to make the initial step in determining how much you can afford by getting a Pre-Approval Letter from a qualified mortgage expert. Similar to receiving a credit card offer in the mail… being pre-qualified is much different from being pre-approved, it only requires a high-level review of information you provide. A pre-approval letter from a mortgage consultant involves the verification of information involving but not limited to credit checks, debt-to-income ratios, down payment verification, etc.
Once you have completed this process with your mortgage consultant and all information has been reviewed and verified, you will receive a letter of preliminary approval of the loan. Sellers tend to take a Buyer more seriously when they have a Pre-Approval letter in hand when submitting their offer to purchase a property. And in knowing the amount you can afford, the search becomes much more precise and you’re able to manage your own expectations.
Buyers Time Line
The time line involved in buying a property can vary depending on the Offer submitted and any issues that may arise during the transaction. Involved in this period a buyer has several stages to complete as indicated in the Offer and subsequent P&S (Purchase & Sales) documents.
A Buyer has options to have a property inspection with a Home Inspector, to determine any issues unknown to the Buyer prior to the offer. If the inspection reveals anything of concern, you have the right to withdraw the offer, suggest a monetary adjustment, etc. You may choose to move forward if there are no issues following inspection. (You may choose to have additional inspections, such as Termite/Insect, Lead or Radon.) As part of the Buyer’s process you will need to sign the P&S, ascertain a Mortgage Commitment, Final Inspection and the Closing. (Click on Buyers Time Line for a PDF chart of the process)
An inspection is done to insure establish whether the property is acceptable prior to signing the P&S (Purchase & Sale Agreement). Generally, inspectors provide buyers with a comprehensive report following the evaluation of:
Structural Elements: construction of the walls, ceilings, floors roof and foundation
Exterior evaluation: Exterior walls are inspected, landscaping, grading (to understand water any issues), elevation, drainage, driveways, fences, sidewalks, stairs, doors, windows, lights and exterior receptacles.
Roof & Attic: Framing, ventilation, type of roof construction, flashing & gutters
Plumbing: a good inspector will help you understand the plumbing, identify the pipe materials used, the waste and drain pipes, venting, including their condition. Evaluation of toilets, showers, tubs, sinks faucets and traps.
Systems & Components: Water heaters, furnaces, air conditioning, duct work, chimney, fireplace & sprinklers
Electrical: Main panel, circuit breakers, types of wiring, grounding, exhaust, fans, receptacles, ceiling & light fixtures
Appliances: dishwasher, range, oven, built-in, microwave, garbage disposal, and smoke detectors
Garage: slab, walls, ceiling vents entry, firewall garage door, openers, lights, exterior, windows, receptacles, & roof
Before the transaction is official and recorded at the Registry of Deeds, a formal closing is needed with the Seller, Buyer, REALTORS involved, their attorneys if needed and the Attorney appointed by the Bank/Lender to have all appropriate documents signed, monies exchanged. So be prepared to bring your license for identification…
As you can see there are many components in a real estate transaction; as your guide, confidant and coach, it is my responsibility to provide the support and knowledge needed to aid you in achieving success!
I look forward to being in your corner and addressing all of the tasks needed to ensure you reach Home Ownership!